Sesame is a new interactive smart lock that was recently funded and launched on Kickstarter. It’s a small, plastic lock that fits on top of your interior deadbolt without replacing it. It is battery-powered and can open in a variety of interactive and interesting ways: a smartphone app controls it, “Open Sesame” spoken into the phone’s microphone also triggers the lock, and it will also open when a custom knock pattern is performed on the door.
One Sesame lock is going to be priced at $99 with a Wi-Fi dongle accessory that can be purchased for an additional $50. The design looks cute, and it is all supremely simple. However, installing a Sesame smart lock will detriment your home safety rather than increase it.
The biggest concern about the Sesame smart lock is the gimmicky custom knock to unlock feature. Neighbors who hear the same quirky knock everyday—or even friends and acquaintances who visit a couple of times—would easily be able to mimic it. The lock only opens to the knocking pattern if the phone is less than 15 or 30 feet (customizable by the owner) away from it. If the owner locks the door and walks away, turning a corner toward the stairs or elevator, the perpetrator could easily use that moment to carefully and quickly knock to gain access. If there’s noise outside, or if they are wearing headphones, the owner will never hear or notice.
Phones are also sometimes forgotten or left at home. The owner is also perpetually vulnerable when they are at home. Burglars can enter whenever they please during the time the owner is sleeping or showering. Mimicking such a simple task should not be all it takes to gain complete, unimpeded access to your home.
The way that Sesame smart lock protects users is through notifications on your smartphone—that is, if they have the Wi-Fi dongle. Their system is not monitored, and there isn’t any other layer of protection if someone does open the lock without authorization. If the user does happen to be with their phone, and they receive the notification, they could call the police. However, if there isn’t a siren or any further deterrents for burglars and intruders, they will just continue about their business.
Also, everyone misses phone notifications. Phones are silenced during classes or at the workplace; they are left in bags during meetings; it’s rude to pay attention to them during restaurant dinners; self-monitoring requires users to be glued to their phone screens and ready to respond at all times. Sesame doesn’t have an “armed” mode, so if a burglar opens the door, it sends the same notification as when a family opens the door. There is no way for it to alert users or dispatch police when needed.
A Better Alternative
Protect America offers an integrative protection system. All Protect America’s basic packages provide a number of door and window sensors, so the home security system knows when the doors are opened when they shouldn’t be. Protect America also offers Yale Z-Wave Door Locks that provide reliable automation. Yale locks are highly respected in the industry and are considered the best in the world. It features a keypad programmable with up to 250 codes for digitally unlocking as well as a traditional keyhole. Yale Z-Wave Door Locks can also be locked and unlocked via the free, integrated SMART Connect App.
Protect America provides monitoring for your property. When your property’s perimeter is breached, the monitoring station is notified. They then attempt to reach your contact numbers, and you can decide how to proceed. If you can’t be reached, the monitoring station will go ahead and contact proper authorities to be dispatched to your property.
The Sesame smart lock looks convenient and fun, maybe a cool thing to show friends on the weekend. But it is a disadvantage to your home and your family’s security. It’s untested, flimsy, un-monitored, gimmicky, and unsafe. For reliable and affordable protection starting at just $19.99 a month, secure your home with Protect America today.